yrical Expressions The Art of José Chardiet
Schantz Galleries c o n t e m p o r a r y
a r t
Lyrical Expressions Drills, pliers, paint, colored pencils, notebooks filled with formulaic time tables and chemistry notations for electroplating, knives and the rubber masking material for sandblasting glass,
sketches of form and patterns, not to forget the red hot glory hole and the bench where José Chardiet is seated sculpting a blown form. José Chardiet loves to use all the tools in his toolbox to create his art.
On a recent visit to José’s studio, we witnessed the many steps this artist takes to design and make each series of his repertoire. Beginning with research and inspiration, José drafts meticulous
diagrams of pattern or design on paper, sometimes working as a jeweler with wire to render
decorative elements. On one table, a grouping of three vessels seem to swell with pride for their own wire drawings and luscious, fruit like colors. Nearby are blown and acid etched elements waiting to be assembled into a still life that takes on an anthropomorphic narrative. Stacked to the
ceiling are large black forms used for making the plaster molds into which José will cast glass, while blown and sculpted crystal clear glass teapots reflect the afternoon sun in the other corner. It’s easy to imagine this artist walking into his studio each morning and being beckoned, called to, directed “Make me... Use me.... Create Me!”
The diversity of his work allows José to continue to stay fresh and excited about his process in order to investigate new ideas about design while exploring deeper emotions.
It is with great pleasure that we publish this catalog of works by José Chardiet. We invite you to experience José Chardiet’s world. Kim Saul and Jim Schantz June 2013
yrical Expressions The Art of José Chardiet © Schantz Galleries 2013 Design: Studio Two Editor: Kim Saul Artwork Photography: Marty Doyle Essay: James Yood
Photo: Kim Saul
Quest Continuum by James Yood José Chardiet: 21st Century Glass Sculptor. Sounds a bit august, doesn’t it? Well, why not? He’s
certainly got the chops to deserve that title; he has the pedigree (he studied with Peter Pellettieri
at Southern Connecticut State and with Henry Halem at Kent State, both of whom had worked with
Harvey Littleton at the University of Wisconsin), he’s got the imprimatur of the academy (Chardiet taught for about a decade at the University of Illinois in Champaign), he’s market and museum certified (there can’t be too many serious collections of modern and contemporary sculpture in glass
that don’t include his work, and he’s in many major museum collections), he’s a multi-culturalist’s
dream (his first name is Spanish, his last name is French, and he’s an American artist who was born in Cuba) and—and here we stray from the cool comfort of factoids to the wondrous world of opinion—he’s a terrific artist.
I’ve always found Chardiet’s work an intriguing meeting of discipline and abandon, a place where
structure and organization gets channeled into passion and feeling. Discipline first: Chardiet likes
to work sequentially amongst his various series, I imagine him doing them in turn, first a few still lifes, then a week or two of teapots, then perhaps several vessels, then (the most recent series) some horns, with the occasional drop in of something completely different, a teapot skyscraper, for example. He doesn’t make the same thing all the time, he concentrates on each piece and then
usually moves on to another element in his repertoire, so when he decides to do again, say, a still life, it isn’t stale for him, another expected expert performance, it’s fresh, and he can concentrate on it to the exclusion of all else. But it’s not so much what Chardiet does, it’s how he does it that’s
central here, and he’s just one of those artists that’s always pulse-quickening, who brings together
gesture, surface, color, composition, texture and more into something rhythmic and flowing that intensifies seeing.
Take, for example, Ancestors, or Birch Two. Chardiet continues to categorize these as still lifes (probably his best known series) and, indeed, in a loose kind of way they are objects set across (and
often into!) a table-like surface. But even the titles of some recent pieces indicate his awareness
that these are more familial studies, of objects/personages interacting psychologically, socially
and generationally. His objects—characters?—almost rise to narrative, they become actors in little dramatic vignettes that are very absorbing, very attentive to gender roles, reminding me at times of Degas’ group portraits of families, a little—I can’t resist—Chardiet as Chardin, the concept of
still life as embodying and evoking just about everything under the sun, even, sometimes, matter of the deepest import.
I’m a great admirer too of the vessels that have been of interest to Chardiet for about a decade,
very seductive single vase shapes that often are pinched at the neck and sometimes have delicate lines of filigreed metal coiled and embedded into patterns across their swelling surfaces. They’re
wondrously strange, these hothouse vessels, almost organic in feel, like gourds or overripe tropical
fruits, fecund and sensual, realized in bright and sometimes contrasting colors. These pastilles of blown and shaped glass exploit every aspect of the medium’s potential in terms of color and
surface, and somehow—I think it’s in the pinching and the palette—retain a sense of heat, of the cauldron from which they came.
Chardiet often speaks of how influenced he was by seeing a major exhibition in Detroit (It was the ‘Primitivism’ in 20th Century Art show that traveled there from MOMA) shortly after finishing
graduate school. There was a lot to absorb in that exhibition, and among the things it revealed
to Chardiet was that modern art remained a pertinent and dynamic vehicle for expression and meaning, that it still spoke to the fundamental mysteries of who and what we are. His work continues the quest to seek that continuum, and it is our good fortune that he so often finds it.
James Yood teaches modern and contemporary art history at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he also directs its New Arts Journalism program. He is a contributing editor to GLASS magazine.
Blown, Hot Sculpted and Cast Glass 31” x 11” x 7.5"
Blown, Hot Sculpted and Cast Glass 25.5” x 12.5” x 7”
Birch Two, 2013 Blown, Hot Sculpted and Cast Glass 30” x 11” x 8.5"
Silver Horn #3, 2013
Solid Hot Sculpted Glass Silver Electroplating 18.5” x 6” x 4"
Grouping of Clear Teapots, 2013
Solid Hot Sculpted Glass Tallest Measurement 11"
Lavender and Gold Teapot, 2011 Solid Hot Sculpted Glass Gold Electroplating 7.75” x 9.5” x 4.5”
Silver Rainbow Teapot, 2011
Solid Hot Sculpted Glass Silver Electroplating 10” x 9” x 3.75"
Renaissance Gold, 2013 Solid Hot Sculpted Glass Gold Electroplating 9.75” x 10” x 3.5"
Fertility Figure, 2013 Solid Hot Sculpted Glass Copper Electroplating 22” x 6” x 6"
Copper Sunburst Horn, 2012 Solid Hot Sculpted Glass Copper Electroplating 19” x 4.5” x 5.5"
Burnt Orange Napoleonic, 2009 Blown Glass and Applied Copper Drawings 16â€? x 11"
Indian Hedge Row, 2009 Blown Glass and Applied Copper Drawings 16” x 9.5"
Blown Glass and Applied Copper Drawings 15” x 10"
José Chardiet José Chardiet received his MFA from Kent State University, where he was the Artist in Residence in
1985. He has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Crafts, and the Haystack School of Crafts, and served as Professor of Glass and Sculpture at the University of Illinois Urbana-
Champaign. He has received fellowships from the Institute of International Education, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Creative Glass Center of America.
José’s work is included in many private and public collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the
Smithsonian Art Museum, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, the Corning Museum of Glass, the Yokohama Museum of Art in Japan, and the Musée des Arts Decoratif in Laausanne, Switzerland.
Education B.A., Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Connecticut, 1980 M.F.A., Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, 1983
Public Collections Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. American Craft Museum, New York City, New York
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning Glass Center, Corning, New York Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Lausanne, Switzerland The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina
Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina Asheville Museum of Art, Asheville, North Carolina
Birmingham Museum of Arts, Birmingham, Alabama
University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics, Project Art, Iowa City, Iowa
Museum of American Glass, Wheaton Village, Millville, New Jersey Racine Art Museum, Racine Wisconsin
Photo: Kim Saul
“My most recent research has focused primarily on designing and making glass sculptures using blowing and casting processes. Drawing from topics as diverse as Spanish still-life painting,
woodwind instruments, and African art, my goal is to create sculptures imbued with a spiritual and inner life. Using the natural transparency and translucency of the material allows the viewer to look beyond the surface, to get to the core or soul of the sculpture.”
Photo: Kim Saul
3 Elm Street, Stockbridge, MA 01262
Schantz Galleries c o n t e m p o r a r y
a r t